Originally at https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/05/26/how-to-write-meta-descriptions-for-seo-with-good-and-bad-examples/

What is a meta description? How do you write one? Why are meta descriptions important? Do they actually help with search engine optimisation? What are some good and bad examples?

Following on from our incredibly popular guide 22 SEO essentials for optimising your site, I thought I’d follow up the advice on meta tags and answer all of the above questions.

If you just want a quick guide to optimising meta descriptions, click here to jump to the checklist section.

For the rest of you, first lets talk about meta tags in general:

What are meta tags

As Kristine Schachinger described in our previous guide to meta tags back in 2012, meta tags are HTML elements that provide information about a webpage for search engines and website visitors.

There are two elements that must be placed as tags in the <head> section of a HTML document. These elements are:

Title tag
Meta description

We’ve already discussed title tags in a separate post last week, and now you’ve mastered that skill, let’s move straight into meta descriptions.

What is a meta description?

The meta description is the short paragraph of text placed in the HTML of a webpage that describes its content. The meta description will then appear under your page’s URL in the search results. This is also known as a snippet.

guide to primavera sound 2016 Google Search

The meta description will also often appear when people share your articles across other websites and social channels.

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-60470" src="https://searchenginewatch.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2016/05/Methods-Unsound-meta-description-on-facebook.png" alt="Methods Unsound meta description on facebook" width="800"…

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